Trump-Backed Challenger Wins in Washington US House Count

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Rep. Dan Newhouse maintained his lead among other Republicans in the Washington state primaries on Friday, but fellow Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler saw her advantage over an opponent endorsed by former President Donald Trump shrink in recent voting updates.

Both faced inter-party challenges over their vote to impeach Trump after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

Democrat Marie Perez was the top vote-getter in Southwest Washington’s 3rd congressional district, taking 31% of the vote. Herrera Beutler, who had about 24% on Tuesday night, fell to just over 23% on Thursday night, less than 2,000 votes for Joe Kent — a former green beret endorsed by Trump.

Because Washington is a mail-voted state and ballots only need to be in before Election Day, it often takes days for the final results in close races to be known, as ballots arrive at provincial election offices throughout the week.

Updated votes were expected late Friday afternoon in 3rd District’s largest county, Clark, which had an estimated 45,000 votes left. Counties have until August 16 to complete their census and for recruitment boards to certify the results, followed by certification from the Secretary of State by August 19.

A mandatory recount would take place if the margin of votes between the No. 2 and No. 3 candidates is less than half of 1% and closer than 2,000 votes.

In Washington’s primary system, all candidates have the same vote, and the top two vote-pickers in each of Tuesday’s races advance to the November election, regardless of party.

Of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, four chose not to run for re-election. Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer was defeated in a primary Tuesday by Trump-approved John Gibbs and Rep. South Carolina’s Tom Rice lost to a Trump-approved challenger in June. Rep. California’s David Valadao — who has an open primary like Washington — survived a primary challenge. Rep. Wyoming’s Liz Cheney braces for a loss in her August 16 primary against a Trump-backed rival.

Newhouse, the four-year-old sitting in the 4th congressional district in central Washington, had about 26% of the vote, followed by Democrat Doug White, who had just over 25%. Loren Culp, a Trump-backed former small-town police chief who lost the 2020 governor’s race to Democrat Jay Inslee, was sitting at about 21%.

In another key contest in the 8th congressional district, incumbent Democratic Rep. Kim Schrier with more than 47% of the vote advances to the November vote, and will meet former state attorney general Matt Larkin in November.

With more than 17% of the vote, Larkin defeated King County Council member Reagan Dunn, a former federal prosecutor whose mother once held the seat. Dunn admitted the race on Thursday. The neighborhood is a prime target of GOP efforts to retake control of the home.

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